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How to stop making excuses for your weight

09 August 2013, 15:19

If you're sick and tired of being overweight but continue to excuse yourself with the same old reasons, it's time to realise that excuses keep you stuck where you are and cause you to believe that you lack control. And while old habits die hard, if you’ve been making excuse after excuse about why you can’t shed the weight, it's time to recognise that you can do something about it and take action to regain control over your life (I finally won the weight battle, reaching goal weight recently and want to share these tips below).

Steps

1.    Determine if your weight problem is due to a medical condition: Sometimes the reason why you’ve either gained weight or can’t seem to lose the weight is due to an underlying medical problem. However, simply assuming this to be the case and not having your doctor confirm it is an excuse. And even if you do have a medical condition, your doctor's advice may be able to help you manage around it instead of giving in to it. So, before you delve into other reasons surrounding your weight battle, see your doctor to check that you're not struggling with an issue that could be remedied by medical intervention.

2.    Identify the culprits: Excuses get made as a way of sweeping the real causes under the carpet. Unexamined, the weight-gain culprits get off free of charge while your body continues ballooning. That's willful blindness and it's harmful to you. Some of the sneaky, yet obvious-when-you-think-about-them culprits that bring about weight gain include:

-  Watching a lot of TV, sitting down snacking and not moving.

-  Large portion sizes of food at each meal.

- No or low exercise, driving everywhere, never taking a moment to walk.

-  Drinking a lot of alcohol - hidden and useless calories are the trademark of booze.

-  Eating take-away food more than once a week.

-  A diet high in processed foods, low in natural, whole and unprocessed food.

3.    Accept that habit, rather than lack of time, is holding you back: Many of us complain that there is never enough time to do anything, losing weight included. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, for the more we preach it, the more it becomes our reality and we form habits that keep us stuck in this race of busyness. From harried mothers to busy executives, many folks find that they're dashing from place to place from the minute they wake up in the morning to the second their head hits the pillow at night and then blame this rush for all other ills in their lives. However, you control what you do with your time - it is not time controlling you. Resolve to stop using your lifestyle as a reason for your weight gain and instead find ways to integrate weight loss into your jam-packed schedule.

4.    Acknowledge any tendency in yourself to adopt the ‘I can’t do it’ attitude: If you continue to tell yourself you "just can’t lose weight", you will start to believe it. Once you believe it, you will start to live up to it. You can do it. Giving up is an option for dead people only.

5.    Fix the excuses: There are lots of ways to approach excuses and much of this is about breaking ingrained bad habits and attitudes toward food. This will take time, so the first important way to stop making excuses is to allow yourself the time needed to keep reframing your excuses into positive statements in place of the hopeless statements that excuses actually are. Most people need to ease into changes rather than waking up tomorrow and saying "Okay, as of now, no more chocolate bars." Life doesn't work like that and it's best to gradually remove junk food from the diet and make a conscious decision to add in more and more healthy food to take its place.

6.    Account for your progress: Part of losing weight successfully is paying attention to your behaviour. In a world where people eat in front of the computer or TV, it’s easy to overeat and not be cognizant of how much, or what, is being consumed. If you actively track what is going into your mouth, you can have more control over your journey. You don't need to track your food intake forever - just for a few weeks or months until you get a clear idea of what you're eating. After a while, it'll become second nature to think consciously before picking up the food you're going to graze on.

7.    Have a goal: If you have more than 10kgs to lose, create small incremental goals to reach every few weeks. Create a spread-sheet or a chart that marks what you weigh today and what you weight on each weigh in day, along with goals. It's even easier if you use an app that does most of the work for you––search for a good one for your smartphone or iPad.

8.    Track your food intake: Seeing what you’ve eaten or the activity you’ve completed online or on paper will motivate you to stay on track. You can either track your daily progress in a paper journal or you can turn to one of the many weight loss sites that will automatically calculate calories for you.

9.    Get some company: Join a weight loss group. Numerous weight loss groups like Weight Watchers, Weigh Less etc. provide not only weight loss tips, but also support and accountability. A weight loss group may also be a wonderful place to meet other people struggling with similar challenges.

10.  Turn food and exercise into the solution, not the problem: Through planning, freezing healthy food meals ahead of time, finding outlets to relieve your stress, regular exercise, small treat portions and a food diary, you can grow to love the food and exercise that keeps you in top condition, without feeling deprived, lethargic or helpless. At this point, excuses will no longer define you; you will be defining yourself consciously and repeatedly.

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